In Person

46945_HumbleCompanion_PB.inddAs trailed a few weeks ago I’m now delighted to confirm personal appearances by Humble Companion Nellie Buzzard and her coachman, Dick Morphew, at the Chiswick Book Festival on September 15th. I’m obliged, under the terms of the Trade Descriptions Act (1968), to warn you that Nellie doesn’t look anything like as cute as her cover photo suggests. However, what she has lost in dewy and pneumatic youthfulness she has gained in wisdom.

She and Morphew will be sharing a platform with Mr Adrian Teal, caricaturist in the finest 18th century tradition and compiler of The Gin Lane Gazette.  In the pauses between Mr Teal’s narrations Nellie and Morphew will be engaged in laconic conversation. There has been some talk of serving gin although whether that’s to be before, during or after the entertainment I do not know and shudder to think.

I’m required to be in attendance, much as one is enjoined not to leave small children unsupervised around power tools, but I’m afraid my presence is no guarantee of anything. Allow characters to step out from between the pages of a book for even half an hour, there’s just no telling. But look at it this way, Sunday at 1.30, what else are you going to do? Stay at home and watch the Omnibus edition of East Enders?

Admittance to this amateur hodgepodge  refreshing change from Lit Fest authors droning on about their Muse, is by a modestly priced Day Pass which entitles you to a bunch of other stuff. Full details here.

I’ve been thinking which fictional characters I’d like to meet. Martin Amis’s John Self would be a train wreck to behold. Well, if we’re serving free gin perhaps he’ll turn up.  By way of total contrast I’d rather enjoy half an hour in the company of Jane Austen’s Mr Woodhouse. I do love a valetudinarian.

And you, dear reader?


  1. Scott Gronmark on August 19, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Ignatius J. Reilly, the fat, hot dog-scoffing, medievalist hero of John Kennedy Toole’s “Confederacy of Dunces”.

  2. Scott Gronmark on August 19, 2013 at 6:57 am

    In the unlikely event you didn’t see it, Libby Purves wrote this in the Telegraph (online – don’t know about the paper edition – probably both) on Saturday:

    “Laurie Graham – our most underrated novelist – is a favourite holiday companion. This year, it was The Future Homemakers of America, one of the funniest, most touching tributes to women’s lives.”


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